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Whether it’s the color, the floral scent or the memories of lemonade on hot days that it brings to mind, Meyer lemons are always the fruit that makes me smile widest. Yes, they’re basically just fancy, sweet lemons, but because of that, they’re so much more interesting and attractive.
I definitely never shy away from regular lemons in cooking, and for good reason: their bracing, strong acidity is needed in heavy dishes, both savory and sweet, to cut through the richness. But when Meyer lemons pop up, I like to use them in applications where their sweet, very noticeably floral notes come through clear and bright.
And no application that I know stretches the Meyer lemon’s character more than curd. Basically a cooked pudding without starch, curd is a silky smooth sauce often made with lemon and used to drizzle over fresh fruit, toast or scones for breakfast, or over crunchy meringues and whipped cream in a Pavlova.
The key is using not just its juice, but a ton of its zest (the grated peel) as well. You’ll want a handy zester tool for this job, such as a Microplane grater, which makes it easy to scrape the zest. The zest holds the oils and the distinctive flavor of the Meyer lemons. It perfumes the curd with all its aromatics.
Stored in a jar and covered in the refrigerator, this curd will last for up to two weeks. But as with most things like this, I doubt you’ll ever reach that point in time.
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Meyer Lemon Curd
Makes about 2 cups
3/4 cup sugar
Zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 egg yolks
1 cup Meyer lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- Combine the sugar, zest, salt and yolks in a medium saucepan, and whisk until smooth. Add the juice and place saucepan over medium heat. Stir the pot slowly but constantly as it heats up, and then as soon as it thickens to the consistency of loose pudding and you see a few bubbles break the surface of the curd, remove it from the heat.
- Add two cubes of butter and whisk until they’re melted into the curd and the mixture is smooth. Repeat with remaining butter in this manner until it is all used and the curd is smooth. Pour the curd into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until thickened, at least 2 hours, before serving.
Stored in a jar in the refrigerator, this curd will last for up to two weeks.
Note: Zest refers to the grated peel of the lemon. Use a grating tool, like a Microplane grater to grate peel finely. Grate only the yellow part of the peel. The white part, the pith, is bitter.
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